Nigeria@61: Better days ahead — Sanwo-Olu

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
Governor Sanwo-Olu, today, said more than ever before, it is time for all Nigerians to close ranks, and view the differences not as a stumbling block but instead as an energizing force, and unite with renewed determination and commitment to move the country forward against all odds. Speaking at the 61st independence day parade at Agege Stadium, Sanwo-Olu said: “Even in the face of the many challenges confronting us as a people and as a nation, my message to every Nigerian at this time is that we have no reason to lose hope. There is enough evidence around us of the fact that while we are not yet where we would like to be as a country and a people, we are also no longer where we used to be. “But we are equally mindful of the various vistas of progress that have opened up, and which continue to give us hope that we can achieve the Nigeria of our dreams. “Sixty-one years ago, the struggle of our forefathers and nationalists to free our country from the shackles of colonialism and attain the status of a sovereign and independent nation came to a happy ending with the lowering of the Union Jack and hoisting of the Green White Green Flag. “In the years since then, so much has also happened to us as a country. We have fought a civil war, experienced several coups, and ultimately overcome military dictatorship and restored democratic governance. “This year marks the 22nd year since we began to enjoy uninterrupted democracy, which is itself a huge feat, considering that all previous attempts were short-lived.”  The governor said the state has successfully overcome the COVID-19 third wave and already taking proactive measures to banish the virus from the state completely.   He further said that his administration is committed to the security of lives and property, especially that it is a vital foundation and pre-condition for investment and economic development.   “At this time, the single most pressing issue for many of you the people of the state is security. You have heard the alarming reports, in recent days and weeks, of innocent Lagosians being attacked or kidnapped by criminals. “Let me use this opportunity to assure you all that, at this very moment, nothing is more important to this administration than ensuring the security of lives and property across the metropolis. As we have always said, the security of lives and property is a vital foundation and pre-condition for investment and economic development. “No stone is therefore being left unturned in this regard, to ensure that culprits are brought to justice, and that even more importantly we are able to act preventively, and nip crime and criminality in the bud. “The various elements of our security architecture in the state are being reviewed and strengthened, and I have received concrete assurances from the leadership of the State Police Command and all other security agencies, that they are determined more than ever to stay on top of the situation, and restore full confidence to our people.   “I would like to use the opportunity of this celebration to once again, thank all the good people of our great state for their support and contribution to making Lagos a reflection of the dream and aspiration of our forefathers at independence. “Let me specially acknowledge the young people of the state and of Nigeria, to whom the present and the future truly belong. Today’s commemoration of our Independence offers yet another opportunity to reflect on your dreams and aspirations, and also the frustrations that you feel. We acknowledge all of these: Your boundless energy and entrepreneurial potential, your desire to improve your lives and to change the world for the better; as well as the fact that, as human beings, you also sometimes feel frustrated by the circumstances around you. “Let me use this opportunity to again assure the young people of the state that we are fully with you on your journey to greatness. The state government will continue to enable your success, as young people. You are the greatest asset that God has blessed this great country of ours with. “We are scaling up the various youth-targeted initiatives of the state government: financing small, medium and large-scale businesses, supporting agriculture, investing in start-ups and technological innovation, building skills and capacity across various sectors, and creating the right environment for private enterprise to thrive.    “The State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has so far made available more than 8 billion Naira to 12,000 businesses, many of which are led by young people; and trained more than 7,000 youths in entrepreneurship and business development. Similarly, the State Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) has made hundreds of millions of Naira available in grants to assist start-ups based in the state. “The state is also home to the largest education-technology program in Africa, the Eko Digital Initiative, which will impart coding skills to 1 million Lagosians, with an emphasis on primary and secondary school students. Furthermore, our city-wide fiber-optic rollout will soon become operational, unleashing high-speed internet for the use of the public and private sectors.”

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